Leon Cameron said his side was “embarrassing” against the Hawks. Pic: Getty Images
Leon Cameron said his side was “embarrassing” against the Hawks. Pic: Getty Images

‘Totally untrue’: Cameron shoots down Coniglio claim

GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron has strongly denied a communication breakdown between football boss Wayne Campbell and the playing group.

Cameron remains confident that off-contract star Stephen Coniglio will re-sign with the Giants despite the delay in deciding over his future.

After a report this week said Campbell had close to a non-existent relationship with Coniglio, and that if the vice-captain left the club it would likely signal the end for the head of football, despite Campbell still having another year to run on his contract.

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Leon Cameron was caught by surprise after a report regarding footy manager Wayne Campbell. Pic: Michael Klein
Leon Cameron was caught by surprise after a report regarding footy manager Wayne Campbell. Pic: Michael Klein

 

Cameron said the club was blindsided by the allegations and fiercely defended former Richmond great Campbell and his handling of player retention.

"It (the report) caught me a bit by surprise last night. He's contracted until the end of next year, like I am, and he's rock solid out our footy club," Cameron said.

"He's been fantastic. We've got a great relationship, the players have got a great relationship so it was a little bit of a surprise (and) actually from left field. But after I read it I dismissed it and thought most of it is just totally untrue.

"No, absolutely (no communication issue). Not what I see. From day to day. And I work closely with Wayne and Wayne works closely with our coaches. Wayne works closely with our players.

"The amount of players that have recontracted, the amount of time he spends with our players is phenomenal. I don't see that at all and as quickly as I read it late last night I dismissed it and put it to bed and thought he's barking up the wrong tree."

Cameron denied the Giants were under more pressure leading into this finals' series than at any time in its history, and said he doesn't feel like his football department was under scrutiny from GWS management or the AFL.

 

The Giants are coming off a shocker against the Hawks. Pic: AAP
The Giants are coming off a shocker against the Hawks. Pic: AAP

 

AFL great Paul Roos criticised the Giants' game plans over recent seasons, but Cameron says the harsh assessment is just part and parcel of what comes your way after a heavy defeat, such as the one the Giants suffered against Hawthorn last Friday.

"Again he probably didn't see the Sydney game or the Collingwood game or the Port game or any of our wins this year," Cameron said in response to Roos.

"I went down and had a bit of dinner with Gill McLachlan a couple of weeks ago and he's all very, very happy with how the club is progressing.

"I understand that the two new clubs, who have come into the competition the last eight or nine years, we're going to have our ups and downs, and again it's funny how this will rear its head when they've come off the back of a nine-goal loss.

 

Free agent Stephen Coniglio is yet to recommit. Pic: AAP
Free agent Stephen Coniglio is yet to recommit. Pic: AAP

 

"It wasn't talked about after we beat Sydney by two points or Port Adelaide by a point or Collingwood by nine goals. It's just the That's the way things happen. If you lose and you lose poorly which we did … things are just going to pop up like that and they're issues you don't even give much time to."

Cameron insists he is not panicked about Coniglio leaving the Giants for a Melbourne club and said the delay was completely understandable.

"I think it's a big decision. It's a huge decision. Most players of that calibre are going to confront that once in their career," said Cameron.

"Callan Ward, Josh Kelly has confronted it twice. Every player of that calibre. Cogs was in All Australian form before he went down with his knee. He has spent time with his family and friends and he'll come to that decision. I don't see any indication it's going to go against the Giants."